Lawyers hit Dutch activist’s ouster


Thomas van Beersum AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A lawyers’ group on Thursday scored the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for putting on its blacklist Dutch activist Thomas van Beersum, who was deported from the country on Wednesday for overstaying and participating in a political rally.

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), which gave Beersum legal aid during his 30-hour detention at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, said the act was tantamount to the stifling of foreign criticism by the government of the Philippines, which is supposed to be a democratic country.

“In this cyber age, blacklisting is obviously a primitive and artificial tool to sweep under the rug any ideas, expressions or statements from the outside world that a sitting government would refuse to face or address squarely,” NUPL secretary general Edre Olalia said in a text message to the Inquirer.

Olalia said “there is no doubt our client’s resolve to speak out and continue to be in solidarity with the legitimate struggles and plight of peoples beyond the comfort of his own country should move this government to ponder and cease from being in denial.”

“His blacklisting is more a resounding indictment of the government and its claims to democracy than it is of his zealous yet moral outrage over issues that should make us and our society more fair and human,” he added.

Beersum, 20, was caught on camera confronting an antiriot policeman during the rally organized by militant groups while President Aquino was delivering his State of the Nation Address before Congress on  July 22.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a statement, also said the deportation of Beersum violated the guarantees of free expression and peaceful assembly to which foreign visitors as well as Philippine citizens here and abroad were entitled under international law.

“[The deportation] undermines Aquino’s claims that his administration respects human rights and values civil liberties,” HRW Asia Division researcher Carlos Conde said. “While [this] administration seems to have time to chase foreigners protesting rights violations, it has fallen far short of its rhetoric to end impunity for serious abuses.”

Conde said the Philippine government should revoke the blacklisting of Beersum and correct the BI’s warning that foreigners should not join peaceful protest actions.

“Instead of harassing those who decry the continued violations of human rights, Aquino should welcome them,” he said.

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  • dikoy321

    Atty. Olalia, you are TWISTING the facts and the Law…!
    Even here in FREE/PROSPEROUS Germany, no foreigner is ALLOWED to APPROACH menacingly the German POLIZEI, LORD OVER THEM, INSULT/ASSAULT THEM, MAKE THEM CRY !
    The FREE and DEMOCRATIC German POLIZEI will immediately CUT YOU to PIECES, then HAUL the REST of you to JAIL for BOOKING and DEPORTATION Proceedings, as a foreigner !
    PNP, next time such kind like BEERSUM is FREE for you to BEAT and also HAUL to COURT and then BLACKLIST, DEPORT !
    Teach NASTY Foreigners the LESSON that the Philippines is LORDED OVER by Filipinos !!!

    • bok

      Why do you have to scream in capital letters. You’re like screaming on someone’s ear. Its rude.
      You can also write in normal tekst.

      • Bonz Adam

        i would ask for a normal sense instead

      • berdengleon

        normal sense? haha, oh, you mean common sense…look, when you try too hard, you sound gimpy, and when you sound like one, a picture is being drawn, and it’s in the likeness of one dude in the vicinity of times st. along q.ave.

    • Bonz Adam

      Hoy juan dikoy, basahin mo lahat comment ni Alexander …. a throll who said to be living in switzerland but a real yellow squirt indeed.

      ikaw and isa sa mga tinatawag na uto uto…!

      • berdengleon

        “throll”? tsk..tsk…i warned you..make it short and sweet, in case you have to swallow it mr.perfect…how can you miss a thing like that? throll… forgot Mjölnir! hahahahahahaha!!!throll..throll..throll!

    • foreignerph

      Don’t suffocate in all your stupid capitals. Anybody can protest in Germany against anything, except against immigration and foreigners… since then we are considered “racist”. It’s exactly the other way round, but then, you’ve probably never been to Germany. Luckily for your OFWs, Germans are not that racist. Don’t shout too hard or those nasty foreigners might stop feeding you.

  • dikoy321

    Alexander Amproz is right, when he said: “To compare with Holland, one of the world best democratic country…”
    Remember that UNDESERVING Asylum-seeker Josie Maria Sissy, the Coward Ilokana, got TURNED DOWN THREE (3) TIMES, applying ASYLUM in Holland !!!
    Good JOB Holland !!!

  • pogiako

    mga tuta din ng komunista to ang mga makakaliwang abogago na to

  • Mamang Pulis

    ..Pain yan ng grupo ni renato baba reyes…kung nag kataon na binubog ang gma rallyista at tinamaan yab—i exploit yan ng kaliwa….

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